Hayride overturns in Perkins Twp.; 28 people injured

(Updated 11 a.m. Sunday) Dozens of people were injured late Saturday after a hayride overturned on Patten Tract Road south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township. The driver of the hayride is charged with drinking and driving, among other charges.
Sandusky Register
Oct 23, 2011

(Updated 11 a.m. Sunday) Dozens of people were injured late Saturday after a hayride overturned on Patten Tract Road south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township. The driver of the hayride is charged with drinking and driving, among other charges.

Perkins emergency personnel responded to a call at 10:37 p.m. of a hayride that had overturned in the 6200 block of Patten Tract Road.

Twenty-eight people were injured in the overturn, investigators later confirmed.

Capt. Steve Reiderman, of the Perkins Fire Department, said victims were being treated for bumps, bruises and possible broken bones.

Victims still were being tended to and transported at 11:30 p.m. Eight victims were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, two were taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center and six were taken to The Bellevue Hospital. Emergency vehicles still filled the road as of 11:50 p.m.

Two passengers from Castalia later had to be transported from Bellevue Hospital by medical helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo for serious injuries. They were Ruben Cruz Jr. and Raynoldo Cruz.

Jeff Matter, 47, of Milan, who participated in the event, estimated there were about 120 people on the hayride. That's an accurate count, according to the Patrol, which said that about 30-40 people were in each trailer.

Three caged trailers were being pulled as part of the hayride. The first two were being pulled by a tractor, and the third followed and was being pulled by a truck. The second trailer being pulled by the tractor turned over on the right side of Patten Tract Road, where it still sat at 11:50 p.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the driver of the tractor, Michael L. Hermes refused to take a field sobriety test and was arrested by troopers for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He was not injured in the overturn. He was taken to the Sandusky post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, where a warrant was issued to draw blood from him for alcohol tests to be performed at the Patrol's crime lab.

Hermes, 47, was also charged with aggravated vehicular assault, open container and failure to control and jailed at the Erie County jail. He's scheduled to appear in Sandusky Municipal Court at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The crash is still under investigation by the Patrol, and the names, health status and addresses of the 28 injured people is still being compiled.

Check sanduskyregister.com and read Monday's edition for updates.



  I'm glad there were no fatal injuries and hope everyone's injuries heal quickly.  People just trying to have a good time doing what has gone on for years.  To bad that this one incident will probably be making hay rides a thing of the past.

   I voiced my opinion years back when the OSP went to brighter lights and witnessed an increase in patrol car accidents.  I don't to see lights more thab a mile away.  It's very hard to judge your distance at night (I have 20-20 vision).  I slow from 65 to 35-40 and don't seem to close the distance, next thing you are right on the scene, and "NO" I'm not looking away, I keep my eyes on the road.

   I would really like to know where the teachers get the money to put into their retirement????  Do they hunt it, like mushrooms??  Dig it up, like potatos????  Grow it, like corn???  Pick it from trees, Like apples???   Or do you think just maybe,  it comes from taxes and levies that is paid to them??? 

The injury reports keep adding up. There is a girl that was hurt in the ride with a vertebra in her neck that is broken. She was told today she may need surgery and will not able to return work. Her life is now in shambles! She is a single mother that works hard to provide for her son. This is truly sad… My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.  

Why would he not keep the tractor on the farm only; instead,  he ventures out on the road at night.  He could have been hit by a car without proper lights, etc..

Darwin's choice

 Sheeple packed in those wagons.........some poor judgement all around........


@ Water Street   I highly doubt in my lifetime that everyone will sell their cars and  turn in their drivers licenses, so until then it is still a privilege. I don't make the laws, nor do I agree with all of them. But if I want to drive without consequences, I have to obey them. I don't chose to ride a bicycle around with winter coming. I've never heard of anyone getting their driving "rights" back, but I think you can get your driving "privileges" back if you ever lose them. Here's something I found for you from http://www.duiattorney.com/dui-basics/privilege-to-drive  if you care to read it.

"It is common misconception that any person in the United States has a right to drive. There is no such right in the US Constitution.  Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, and that privilege can be taken away or modified based on certain conduct, including several issues surrounding drunk driving cases.  We all have a Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but not to drive.   Once a person accused of impaired driving understands this, it is much easier to understand why many of the procedural and constitutional safeguards do not apply in regards to driving a motor vehicle following a DWI or DUI arrest.

Despite the fact that driving is a privilege, it is one that can't be removed with some form of due process. Most often, that process comes in the form of an administrative hearing in front of a DMV administrative law judge.

Your ability to drive may be directly tied to your ability to make a living. The laws and processes surrounding your privilege to drive in DUI cases are complex and contain many pitfalls.  If you have been accussed of DUI, more is at stake than your driving privilege."

Again, I didn't write the law, I just chose to keep my privilege.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


I think first of all people need to take a hard look in the mirror before they start throwing stones or passing judgement onto others! The driver was not the one putting the hayride on....nor was he the one that loaded all of the willing people onto the wagons. Regardless if the wagons were overloaded...not his fault! The driver did not intend to hurt anyone. The news and media are ridiculous. The mug shot makes it out like he is a hard criminal. Come on...anyone that knows Mike personally knows that is not true. Mike Hermes is a good man!!! 

Yes...there are some Hermes' that own the Mason Jar.......Not all of them!!!!

Patten Tract was just paved recently and there is a huge drop off on the edge. Has anyone thought this may have casued the trailer to flip!

People should start opening there hearts and not their big mouths! Prayers to anyone involved including the driver!


Hey FactsOnly.  Lots of "good men" are alcoholics.   


So I guess someone forced alcohol down his throat???  You need help!


LOL @ Facts Only! You just signed up to post on this site today!  Go figure!  Are you MIke?  LOL! 

All taken

 Was the people on the wagon drinking with the driver? The news said they had already been to 2 bars. How could they not know he was drunk or under the influence? They got on the wagons even though they knew he was drinking so why is it just his fault? They were drinking on the wagon so they are just as much to blame as him. There shouldn't be any lawsuits, they all were willing to drink and ride.


And what if the tables were turned and a drunk driver had injured a member of the Hermes family?  Would they be so understanding of the "accident"?  Get real people.  Take responsibility for your actions.  It's time to grow up already. 

Just Thinkin

@ FACT ONLY, Well spoken Mike as well as  the whole Hermes Clan Are Fine people and mistakes are made things happen, Good Luck to all

Marcus M

A drunken driver pulling two wagons, with I assume people who also were drinking while  bar hopping, who could not see a problem with that?


I love how no one wants to take any responsibility for their own actions anymore.  Sure, go out and drink and drive.  Everyone should know that you have been drinking and should stay out of your way.  Unreal.


I'm so sorry for all involved in this.  The driver MAY have some responsibility in this if in fact he is guilty as charged however NO ONE forced the riders to ride,  they could have gotten off at any time that they saw their driver drinking and make no mistake!!! they would have been drinking right along side of him at the bars they went to so they would have known and Erie County needs to fix the huge drop-offs along the side of the roadway.  All parties, driver-riders-and Erie County bear responsibility for their actions and poor judgement.  As someone who lives quite close to the Mason Jar (and doesn't drink) I wonder if the same intoxicated riders on this hayride would have thought twice about getting into their cars after their booze bonanza and driven down the same roads I and my loved ones drive, putting TRUE innocent people at risk.  I cringe to think of the school buses driving down Patten Tract with the berm drop-offs that exist especially this winter when you cant tell where the edge of the road it.  GET  WITH IT ERIE COUNTY AND FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED!


Don't you people realize how ridiculous your arguments are?  I mean really.  country-girl says:  they could have gotten off at any time that they saw their driver drinking and make no mistake!!! they would have been drinking right along side of him at the bars they went to so they would have known.  BINGO!!  Those are called witnesses who will more than likely be called to testify.  Remember dear, it's not illegal to drink if you are of age.  And it's also not illegal to drink and ride on a hayride.   But it is illegal to drink and drive.  And only ONE person was doing that.  The person who refused the breathalyzer and the field sobriety test.  No sober person would refuse a reasonable request like that. 

Before you post any more ridiculous excuses, ask yourself, "Would I stand before a judge and make this argument?" 


Nope, not a family member but a neighbor to the Mason Jar that deals with these drunks driving our country roads constantly.  Oh, and were all these party goers going to walk home after closing hours or were they going to DRIVE!!  I'm sure, DEAR, that your going to tell me they ALL had designated drivers. I never excused Mr Hermes..I said IF found guilty ( I haven't heard of the blood results yet) that perhaps everyone should take responsibility for their choices and actions. and yes, BINGO...take responsibility, keep yourself safe and don't chose to ride with someone if you don't think you'll be safe.  I'm sure someone that was hurt would rather not be hurt than to  get money by a lawsuit.   Just sayin


Face it.  Mike's life has changed forever.  He's done for.  Their will be lawsuits flying left and right.  Did the Mason Jar put this on?  This is going to get real ugly.


All taken ~ Thank you. You hit the nail on the head. How true! Everone is out drinking together and now claiming no one knew??????? Yes...they are just as much to blame. Funny how people change there tune when something happens. Not to mention, just how much can you rely on stories told from shit faced passengers!!!!!

Just Thinkin~ Thanks:) Yes, mistakes and accidents happen.

Myname~ No this isn't Mike. Just a concerened person that doesn't think it is right to drag a good person's name through the mud!!!

There is a reason it is called an ACCIDENT not an ON PURPOSE!


Oh, I'm sorry officer.  I was accidentally driving under the influince.  That beer accidentally opened up itself and was in my vehicle while I was driving.  


See, it was all just an accident.


Notice how dumb you sound?


country-girl just signed up to post today also.  Must be another family member.  She is blaming the road and the people riding.  I can't believe how ridiculous you people are. 

The tt's picture
The tt

Of course.  You've gotta watch out for those dang asphalt imps.  They especially like to mess with the roadway in front of you when they think you may some alcohol in your bloodstream...or blood in your alcohol stream, whatever the case may be.

Perkins2060 says

country-girl just signed up to post today also. Must be another family member. 


Everyone has to sign up sometime. Maybe she's new to the site or just never felt like commenting before. It doesn't have to mean she's a relative. Sheesh!


did anyone read today's paper? his wife was charged as well for tampering with evidence. as far as I'm concerned they both should have known better. granted each and every one of those people knew he was drinking and made the choice to climb aboard but they also had a mind set of thinking they were in good hands so they themselves could drink.  if that makes any sense. 

(A) No person, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation is in progress, or is about to be or likely to be instituted, shall do any of the following:

(1) Alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing, with purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation;

(2) Make, present, or use any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false and with purpose to mislead a public official who is or may be engaged in such proceeding or investigation, or with purpose to corrupt the outcome of any such proceeding or investigation.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree.

Third Degree Felony - An individual found guilty of a third degree felony shall be punished by imprisonment for any term not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.


Why does everyone insist that the riders "knew" their driver was drinking? I've been on alot of hay rides(non-drinking) in my life and I couldn't have picked a single driver out of a lineup! You're with your friends and family, having fun and paying attention to them, not the driver. Did he  stand up in the bar and announce that he was the driver? Was he even drinking in the bar? Or was he throwing them back in the cab of his truck where he couldn't be seen? Seems a little ridiculous to blame the victims when they thought they were having fun responsibly. Mr. Hermes was the designated driver that night. There's no excuse for him to take even a single drink when he was responsible for those riders. He may be a good man, but he made some terrible decisions.

The tt's picture
The tt

We've made national news for something stupid...again.  Of course, I found this article through Fark.




Another proud moment for our area, Perkins.

All taken

 I don't think anyone is saying this Mike guy should not be in trouble for what he did, if in fact he was drinking and driving he should be charged  with that. But the rest of the people on the wagon knew he was drinking a they were willing to ride they should be responsible for themselves. There should be no lawsuits involved. If this has been going on for years, then LE had to have known about it and must have been fine with it or it would not have been going on, right??


Hey... oh my... sitandspin doesnt have any comments about the "beauties" in ER that took care of the victims? Great Job Firelands and all of the first responders.


My comment to the person that said it was unconstitutional to force a BAC on this driver - read the DMV laws.  Again, as previously stated, when you accept the license to drive you also accept that you will obey the laws.  The law states that if you refuse a breath test, they can require you to take a BAC test.  This is what was done - get over it.  The drive also violated a DMV law by having an open container as well as drinking while driving.  There is no constitutional protection from the BAC becasue you agreed to it as part of obtaining the priviledge to drive in Ohio.  Period.  End of dicussion on this one.  As far as lawsuits - the defendant will argue that there is some shared responsibility because some of t he riders knew the driver was drinking and rode anyway.  This will probably not have much effect on a civil lawsuit though because the burden of proof is much simpler in those cases.  The outcome of the criminal case won't have much effect on the civil case either due to the same issue.

My opinion as I see things.